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Goings-On at Eagle Lake

Christopher Tayler: Barry Hannah, 29 November 2001

Yonder Stands Your Orphan 
by Barry Hannah.
Atlantic, 336 pp., £9.99, September 2001, 1 903809 16 9
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... is a minor character, no more or less eccentric than the other Eagle Lake inhabitants who populate Barry Hannah’s new novel. They include Max Raymond, a melancholy saxophonist looking for a vision of God; Byron Egan, a preacher and ex-biker, tattooed on the cheek with a Maltese cross and given to injecting himself with holy water at the pulpit; Melanie ...

Just a Diphthong Away

Ange Mlinko: Gary Lutz, 7 May 2020

The Complete Gary Lutz 
by Gary Lutz.
Tyrant, 500 pp., £15, December 2019, 978 1 7335359 1 5
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... cult figures, who came of age in the late 1970s and 1980s, including Raymond Carver, Amy Hempel, Barry Hannah, Diane Williams and Mary Robison.One of the best accounts of Lish’s influence is in David Leavitt’s roman à clef Martin Bauman; Or, a Sure Thing. He appears in the first paragraph of the first chapter disguised as Stanley Flint, a creative ...

Death among the Barbours

Christopher Tayler: Donna Tartt, 19 December 2013

The Goldfinch 
by Donna Tartt.
Little, Brown, 771 pp., £20, October 2013, 978 1 4087 0494 3
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... a more sympathetic depiction of redneck self-contempt, seems to belong in a novel by a figure like Barry Hannah, who briefly taught Tartt at the University of Mississippi, though it’s done without Hannah’s flair for loopy satire. Harriet, on the other hand, is decked out with tropes from children’s literature but ...

A Vast Masquerade

Deborah Cohen: Dr James Barry, 2 March 2017

Dr James BarryA Woman ahead of Her Time 
by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield.
Oneworld, 479 pp., £16.99, August 2016, 978 1 78074 831 3
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... impostors of all: women who masqueraded as military men. The tyrannical army surgeon Dr James Barry – prone to picking quarrels and partial to red-heeled, thigh-high boots paired with an outsized dress sword – doesn’t figure in Stoker’s parade. It’s a strange omission – Barry’s story was well known to ...

A Smile at My Own Temerity

John Barrell: William Hogarth, 16 February 2017

William Hogarth: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings 
by Elizabeth Einberg.
Yale, 432 pp., £95, November 2016, 978 0 300 22174 9
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... Pool of Bethesda’ (1736) ‘Moses Brought before Pharaoh’s Daughter’ (1736) ‘Hannah Osborne, Daughter of John Ranby’ (c.1747-50) detail of ‘Captain Thomas Coram’ (1740)PreviousNext In a thoughtful essay Lamb himself attacked the notion that what is most Hogarthian about Hogarth is what is most broadly comic, most boisterous, most ...

I Love You Still

Russell Jacoby, 9 February 1995

Intellectuals in Exile: Refugee Scholars and the New School for Social Research 
by Claus-Dieter Krohn, translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber.
Massachusetts, 255 pp., $15.95, July 1994, 0 87023 864 7
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... and reach. It is impossible to conceive of American political thought without Hans Morgenthau, Hannah Arendt or Leo Strauss; American psychoanalysis without Erik Erikson, Bruno Bettelheim or Heinz Hartmann; American publishing without Kurt Wolff or Theodore Schocken; architecture without Walter Gropius; art history without Erwin Panofsky; mathematics ...

Why go high?

Adam Shatz, 19 November 2020

... Nature a Violent Society?’ (1968), her critique of the racism ‘inherent’ in American life, Hannah Arendt wrote:the real danger is not [Black] violence but the possibility of a white backlash of such proportions as to be able to invade the domain of regular government. Only such a victory at the polls could stop the present policy of integration. Its ...

I now, I then

Thomas Keymer: Life-Writing, 17 August 2017

AHistory of English Autobiography 
edited by Adam Smyth.
Cambridge, 437 pp., £64.99, June 2016, 978 1 107 07841 3
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... job selling milk) published a memoir in which she berated her patron, the evangelical abolitionist Hannah More, for embezzling the proceeds of Yearsley’s own Poems on Several Occasions. Scholars have been repeating for decades that Yearsley called this trenchant narrative an ‘autobiographical memoir’, but apparently without checking – she didn’t. For ...

They Supped with the King

Bee Wilson: Mistresses, 6 January 2011

Mistresses: A History of the Other Woman 
by Elizabeth Abbott.
Duckworth, 510 pp., £20, 0 7156 3946 3
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... to George Eliot and George Lewes, from geishas to the secret mistresses of Catholic priests, from Hannah Arendt and Heidegger to Maria Callas and Battista Meneghini. ‘What all these women have in common is that they have been either mistresses or concubines,’ Abbott writes, structuring her book as a series of vignettes: ‘the budding philosopher Héloise ...

Don’t be a Kerensky!

David Runciman: Kissinger looks for his prince, 3 December 2020

The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World 
by Barry Gewen.
Norton, 452 pp., £22.99, April 2020, 978 1 324 00405 9
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Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography 
by Thomas Schwartz.
Hill and Wang, 548 pp., £27.99, September 2020, 978 0 8090 9537 7
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... 88 when its author died, and is 97 now. Still the books keep coming. This latest pair, by Barry Gewen and Thomas Schwartz, have moved beyond outrage to something more like bafflement, tinged with affection. Each begins with an effective admission of authorial uncertainty: why, they ask, am I writing about Henry Kissinger, when so much has been written ...


Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... worlds other than this; they are, of course, irritating for exactly the same reason.A call from Barry Cryer, who claims to have heard a woman outside Liberty’s saying to her husband: ‘Remind me to tell Austin that there is no main verb in that sentence.’15 January, Yorkshire. Trying to put my forty-year-old letters in order, I come across a diary for ...

The Deaths Map

Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border, 20 October 2011

... were Mexican on paper, but cast adrift in an unfamiliar environment they were closer to what Hannah Arendt and her generation would have described as ‘apatrides’. Phoenix lay under a dull sky. It was early morning, with few signs of life, when we left. We picked up State Route 85 at Buckeye and headed south through a magnificent valley strewn with ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... Cheney that war was the best option, though neo-conservatives on his staff – Eric Edelman, John Hannah and Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff and one of the most powerful individuals in the administration – also played their part. By early 2002 Cheney had persuaded Bush; and with Bush and Cheney on board, war was inevitable. Outside the ...

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